Sunday, 6 July 2008
Dau Hu Mam Tom (Vietnamese Fried Tofu with Shrimp Paste Dipping Sauce)
I've been a bit busy recently, what with work, family and the new puppy. This is one of the recipes that I meant to post for ages but never got round to. Incredibly simple! The shrimp paste sauce is a bit pungent so if you're not used to it I suggest a dipping of soy sauce and chilli sauce mixed together.
I first had this dish when visiting Hanoi in 1997. There it was served with fresh thin rice noodles and herbs. Since Vietnamese herbs are hard to come by (or expensive to buy) here, I serve it with steamed rice.
A block of tofu, cut into 2-inch cubes
oil for frying (deep-frying is best but I shallowed fry mine with half an inch of oil in a pan)
Sauce: 1 lime, 1tsp sugar, 1tbsp shrimp paste (mam tom), 2 chopped your-ass-will-hate-you-for-it chillies (any small type chillies would do :)
Drain the tofu, I put the tofu in a colander with a heavy jar on top to drain off excess water.
Dip the pieces in rice flour to coat. I used to use all purpose flour but it seems like rice flour makes the tofu a bit crispier (Thanks Wandering Chopsticks
Deep-fry or fry til golden.
Sauce: squeeze the lime juice over shrimp paste, mix chopped chillies in and then sugar. Keep mixing until almost frothy, test taste and adjust. I think as long as you achieve a balance of sweet, sour, savoury and spicy then that's pretty it.